The Bully Proof Classroom


Great Anti Bullying Activities And Lesson Plans

Written By: James H Burns
  1. Activity – Wrinkled Wanda – On chart paper, have the participants trace an outline of a full body person. (See below for an example) Once the outline has been traced, the participants will write unkind, rude, and disrespectful statements all over the outline.   These are statements that could be made to another person like, “You’re a loser, Nobody likes you, You are dumb.”   Identify the drawing as a girl named Wanda.   After Wanda is completely filled with a variety of negative comments, have the participants crumple the drawing, and then un-crumple it.  Post the wrinkled drawings around the room.  Explain to the class that these drawings are examples of what negative comments can do to a person who is bullied.  Bullying comments can destroy a person’s self image and often leads to a defeated body language in the victim.


Next have the participants do the drawing again.  This time write as many positive comments on the drawing as possible.  Statements like, “You did such a nice job, or I enjoy your friendship.  Fill it with really nice statements.  Cut this drawing out, but don’t wrinkle it.   Post these drawings around the room.  This person is now just called Wanda. What is the difference between the two?  Have the participants get into base groups and discuss how they would introduce this lesson to their students and invent any variations on the activity that would be helpful to their students.


Activity – The toothpaste activity – Ask for a volunteer to come to the front of the room. Place a strip of masking tape on the length of the table. With a tube of toothpaste, have the volunteer run a bead of toothpaste on the length of the masking tape.  Now ask the participant to put the toothpaste back in the tube.  Obviously, it can’t be done.  This is an example of how hurtful words once spoken cannot be taken back.  Bullies say hurtful words frequently and need to know the impact that their words have on their victims.


Activity – Who am I? This activity requires an illustration about something that happened to me from the time I was in the 6th grade until I graduated from high school. My name is Jim and it became rather endearing to some to call me Jimbo. I really didn’t mind it but someone decided to drop the Jim at some point and call me Bo.  I accepted the handle but way down deep I wish that folks would just call me by my real name, Jim. Oh, everyone meant no harm, but my parent’s, teachers, friends, coaches, all called me Bo.   I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I didn’t like it.   I lived with it.  Once I got to college, I made everyone aware that my name was Jim. Often we as teachers can call students by names that we hear other students call them, and may not even be aware that they may not like being called certain names.  Address your students by their actual name to avoid leveling the ground and jeopardizing your authority.   If you have any question about this ask yourself what Beaver Cleaver’s teacher called him. “Theodore.”


Have the participants write down on a sheet of paper names that they were called when they were younger or that they may even be called now.  After they have done this have them crumble up the paper and throw it in the garbage can as indicator that they will never be called this name again.  Next have the participants write down on another sheet of paper what they want to be called as an indicator that this is what my name actually is.


In their classrooms teachers can have their students do this activity and write down the names that they want to be called and with the use of a name book describe all the positive attributes that that their name has connected with it. For example, James means truthful.  Post the students names around the room on laminated cards and celebrate each students name, what it means, and who they are.



Building Self Acceptance Through Positive Self-Talk:  Lesson 1


  • Students distinguish between the terms self esteem and self acceptance.
  • Students discover ways to build self accetance through self talk and apply their own positive messages


Building Self Acceptance through Positive Self Talk handout with follow-up sentences


Writing utensil


  1. Students will list on paper messages (positive or negative) they have received from other people in their lives.
  2. Students will determine whether or not they adopted those messages and still believe them today.
  3. As a group, students will read the “Building Self Acceptance through Positive Self Talk” handout.
  4. Students will individually complete the follow-up sentences by using the strategy of self-talk.



Students will rate on a scale of 1-10 (ten being the most difficult) how difficult it was to finish the self-talk sentences using positive responses.  Students will discuss situations in which they can use positive self-talk in the future.



Students will write down five positive self-talk sentences that they will practice throughout the week.

Building Self Acceptance through Positive Self-Talk

What is self acceptance? Self accpteptance is being able to recognize your value as a person.  It is essentially your level of self-worth and feeling of comfort in your own skin regardless of your faults and weaknesses.  Without self acceptance, one would not be capable of reaching their full potential in life.

What is the difference between self acceptance and self-esteem?

Self esteem is a belief or feeling about yourself.  It is what you believe or feel you are capable of doing.  Having high self esteem can help build self acceptance.

High Self-Esteem = Feeling good about yourself

Low Self-Esteem = Feeling badly about yourself


Self acceptance is more of an action rather than an abstact sense of self.  It is something you do – you stick up for yourself, you utizlize your stengths and take responsibily for your faults, and you practice loving yourself every day.

How can I build my self acceptance? Self acceptance is a reflection of beliefs you gained as a child and adolescent.  It usually comes from messages you get about yourself.  These messages can come from other people (like parents, teachers, or friends) or from yourself.  The messages you send yourself is called “Self-Talk.”  If you are used to hearing negative messages from other people, chances are you will send yourself negative messages too.  Things like “I’m so stupid,” “I’m not good enough at this…” or “It’s my fault this happened” are examples of negative self-talk.  One way to rebuild your self acceptance is to re-train yourself to engage in positive self-talk.  Positive self-talk us when you focus on your strengths and positive qualities, reminding yourself that you are a good and valuable person.


“I am a good and caring person and deserve to be treated with respect.”

“I am capable of achieving success in my life.”

“There are people who love me and will be there for me when I need them.”

“I deserve to be happy.”

“I am allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.”



Finish the sentences below:
I am a brave person.  An example of a time I was brave is


I am capable of being happy.  A time I was happy was


I am a good friend.  A time I was there for a friend was


I am capable of making decisions for myself.  A time I made a good decision was


I am loved and cared about.  People who care about me are


I am talented.  Two things I am really good at are




  1. Asofaafetai V. Tagovailoa says:

    The activities presented really gives me an urge to start the bullying activities in my school. I have handled cases with students being bullied and I think its better to start, “better now then never”. I especially like the wrinkled wanda, having students actually see the wrinkled drawings will make them think and wonder how they really feel like the wrinkled paper. Really appreciated


  2. Danica Surette says:

    I am a rural mom in Nova Scotia with a new book called “Bullying is a Big Deal”. It is a who, what, when, where and why of bullying. It is written in an age appropriate manner for children to learn and understand how to protect themselves and others with their safety as a first priority. Find this book and others on or Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

    Danica Surette

  3. My computer security will not allow a download of the book, can it be sent hard copy?

  4. Marissa says:

    I’ve done the “wrinkled wanda” activity before with really young children. We got them to call it names, and then every time someone called it a name, we tore a piece off “wanda”. Then we got them to say sorry to “wanda” and taped her back together. It was a really great visual, and the children really understood.

  5. mya says:

    i like the idea of the toothpaste. but do this grab a piece of paper and tell them to crumple it up and unfold it, and tell them that is how much you hurt them and the paper will never be purfect and straight again.

  6. Paul Peavy says:

    As a professional speaker, mental health therapist, and former stand-up comic I am always looking for creative ways to get kids physically involved in the lesson. You have obviously stretched your imagination and done an excellent and unique job of this. Thanks!

    • Rachel says:

      Do you want to come speak at our school? We are located in Michigan.

      • James H Burns says:

        Yes, I would love to come and speak at your school. We have to discuss the details, expenses, and payment options. The length of the talk, and the number of days you would like me to visit. I am going to email you through my personal email and we can discuss it.

        • Kristin says:

          Hi James,
          Where do you do guest speaking at? I’m in Ohio, but wasn’t sure where you are based out of. Do you still do school speaking engagements?

  7. Glo says:

    Unfortunately with 50% of marriages ending in divorce bullying starts in the home in front of children because the parents don’t love each other. As Dr. Phil says they want to be right. They don’t want to be happy and i guarantee you this hurts much more than the bullies at school. Just means pain everywhere for 50% of kids. Today’s ME MENTALITY and keeping up with the Kardashians BS is destroying the next generation. Families were happier 100 years ago when they had no material things but had faith in a higher power and were taught love is the greatest of all things.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m sorry, but 100 years ago there was no tolerance for divorce inside the home. Now there is freedom to express your feelings towards each other. If the marriage was never able to end, there may have been times where the happiness in the home was not pleasant. Examples are ABUSE, fighting, abandonment, etc. Families have their problems whether it was in the 1800’s or in the 2000’s.

      Everybody’s story is different. I am a 17 year old girl whose parents divorced at the age of 8 years old. No, it was not easy but life goes on. As I said; nobodies story is the same.

      Now to the “Me Mentality” comment. Thank you for saying that our generation is being destroyed. Just because the Kardashians express their life through television, does not mean that this generation that I am living in is crazy about it. Nobody is the same.There are so many personalities out there that meeting someone the same as you is very difficult. For myself personally I do not conform to the situations of what is in or what is out, but I do stand up for what I believe in. I am sorry that I am taking this out on you and the comment that was made. But, I had enough of what people say about this generation.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    What wonderful ideas to use in the classroom. Am I permitted to use these in my elementary classroom? Thanks so much for your hard work in this so important topic.

  9. Kevin says:

    Kayden is a ten year old straight A student and Hip-Pop performer out of Memphis,TN.. Kayden has spent the last two school years bringing his anti bullying awareness event to elementary schools in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. Kayden has four educational songs being used throughout the country in language classrooms as well as an anti-bullying single titled: “What If” that’s been performed for thousands of kids, Tennessee State Delegates at the State Capitol Building in Nashville and has been in rotation on 88.5 in Memphis. Please check out his press kit to find out more about this positive influence.

  10. Pam Tudin says:

    so on the mark.. so creative…so encouraging. May I use your ideas in a classroom – obviously I will credit you.
    Huge thank you. Pam Tudin, Clin Psych

  11. […] bullying activity has been modified from the website  Originally called Wrinkled Wanda, I have adapted and changed the activity to support the needs […]

  12. Ahmerissssd says:

    This really help me for my anti-bullying group that is made of 10 people and i go to ried Ross classical school wish is in Ramsy street in fayville North Carolina

  13. Christopher M. Aquino says:

    Great! Awesome! Big help to my anti-bullying campaign I organized through with my organization-JCI Daraga. Thank you Thank you. this is another equip to me for our new and improved campaign

  14. Laura elizarraras says:

    OMG this helped me so much because I’m trying to start a club to help people and I was struggling with stuff to talk about Thank you so so much

  15. Sharee says:

    this helped me and will help a thousand and one more people !

  16. david garcia says:

    Wow! Great material I work with at risk students this fantastic.

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